What is Geocaching?
This one-minute video tells you all about this world-wide treasure hunt that’s probably right in your own back yard.
Geocache Name: Misty Passage
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
Entrance to the tunnel on Ocean Blvd.
We had just moved to Myrtle Beach and I was anxious to see what kind of fun caches were hidden at the beach. I logged on to Geocaching.com and found a cache named Misty Passage less than half a mile from my house.
There are so many types of caches. Ones that look like drainpipes, rocks, I’ve even seen caches that look like the bark on a tree. This particular cache was a level 2 called a nano-cache (very tiny container). All caches have a clue to help you locate the cache once you are in the vicinity. The clue was “Look above the turtle looking up.” – I thought the cache might be near a pet store. I jotted down the coördinates and my husband Byron and I headed out the door with our dog, Aissa. I walked up and down the street trying to match my walking GPS with the exact spot that matched the coördinates, my husband spotted stairs that led to an underground tunnel connecting one side of the street to the other for safe crossing.
We entered the tunnel we were pleasantly surprised at what we found. The tunnel is carpeted (although I’m not sure why) and painted in an aquarium theme. Ahhh, turtles, now I get it. There were many turtles painted on the walls along with sharks, whales, jelly fish, octopus and a few well drawn divers. It’s a very cool little place and provides an interesting backdrop for a cache.
This should be easy, I thought. The tunnel is not very long and there doesn’t seem to be many places to hide something. We searched the brightly painted walls for turtles- they all of them seemed to be looking up.
Skyward looking turtle
But one turtle in particular was stretching his neck and looking straight up. I was sure he held the secret to the nano-cache. Above him was light fixture. “It must be up there.” I pointed to the light and asked my husband to boost me up. I reached up and felt along the top of the light, but found nothing.
We searched above other turtles in other light fixtures but without knowing exactly what you’re looking for, it’s harder to find it. When a muggle would walk through the tunnel, we just pretended to look at the art work on the walls. When they were out of sight, we’d start searching again. It’s actually pretty fun being sneaky. We searched for a long time. I couldn’t believe that we did not find it- there isn’t much down there except two garbage cans and lights. We left disappointed.
When I got home I checked the website again to make sure people were logging that they had found it- someone had found it just the day before so I knew it was still there. But where?
Day after day, I walked Aissa always stopping for a quick look. Pretty soon, I knew all the turtles by heart. I’d walk up to each one and search around him. I would jump up and down trying to see above the light fixture to spot the cache. If a muggle was coming, I’d stop jumping and pretend I was petting Aissa. She always provides a good cover.
After almost a month of searching, still nothing. I told my son Jaren, about the cache and he wanted to try to help me look for it. So Byron and Jaren and I decided to take Aissa for a walk to the beach and stop in the tunnel along the way.
Checking every possible place
Jaren looked above the lights and crawled around a bit and came up empty-handed. What?! I couldn’t believe none of us could find this small, level 2 cache.
A few weeks passed with no luck. One day while going to the beach Jaren, Byron and I headed for the tunnel. I had not even bothered jumping up and down this time to look above the light. It wasn’t there. I walked over to my usual long-necked turtle and stared at him in dismay shaking my head. What was he looking at? Certainly not the nano cache.
Just then, I heard Byron say, “What do you have there Jaren?” I turned around to see Jaren holding a very small- what looked like a tiny bolt. He smiled and said, “I think I’ve found it.” – What! I missed seeing another find because I was to fixated on that lying turtle! But I ran over to Jaren just as he was unscrewing the cache! He had found it!
I had never seen a nano cache before and didn’t realize how small it really was. The turtle who kept the cache’s secret was not the one I was focusing on- he actually lived on the opposite wall. The cache was a hollow magnet that was fixed to the metal part of the light . Well played Mvillian, well played.
The turtle guarding the cache
Inside the cache were strips of rolled up papers each with the name of past geocachers. I logged the find joining the other 715 finders of the Misty Passage Geocache!
Nano cache magnet
Team Aissa (Jaren) 3/9/12
WHAT I LEARNED FROM THIS GEOCACHE:
You already have all the tools needed to find what you’re searching for- just have patience, ask for help if you need too, and most importantly, never ever give up no matter how long it takes.